THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - With severe storms tearing through south Georgia communities recently, it has started the conversation about storm shelters.
These shelters can be available through FEMA funding.
This past month there have been at least 33 tornadoes that have torn through Georgia communities.
"It was nerve wracking, I mean you forget. You forget that it could be right in your backyard. It hit close to home for us," said Kaitlin Parramore, VP of Sales.
The tornadoes destroyed homes, completely leveling them.
Those homes weren't the only thing taken, 16 lives were lost.
"Its always so bone chilling almost when you get that phone call that says your storm shelter saved my life," said Parramore.
As the damage is being assessed by FEMA, these shelters are something that can be funded through a grant program.
"They will give mitigation grants so essentially FEMA donates X and the community donates Y. There is a lot of funding available for it," said Parramore.
Once those funds are released the community will pick a company and a shelter design.
They make community shelters, residential shelters, and shelters for companies.
Some of the community shelters have AC vents, lights, benches, and even a bathroom.
They can hold anywhere from 17 to 300 people.
"Alot of times what we do for big companies and big communities is we will go in and put several 100 person shelters, all placed by strategic exit points," said Parramore.
For these municipalities or quasi-governmental projects FEMA can fund up to 75 percent of the cost according to their website under the Hazard Mitigation Grant.This funding encourages more communities around the nation to provide this type of protection in the case that another serious storm hits.
Private homeowner shelters are not funded through FEMA.
Residential shelters can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000.
There are several different styles and even bunker and panic rooms. All of them serving the simple purpose of saving lives.
With the sales going up the company has decided to donate 5% of every sale in Georgia to second harvest food bank, supporting those displaced in South Georgia.
The community tornado safe rooms meet FEMA 361 guidelines to provide "near absolute protection against EF5 tornado winds."
The above ground shelters for homes can go in a garage or outside, they are attached to a piece of concrete slab.
The company also offers bunkers and panic rooms underground.
To inquire about a shelter you can call 1-888-360-1492 or visit the Survive-A-Storm website.